Saturday, February 12, 2011

Level III Reports

Reports are now finished and marinating for a while before I reread them and do the final edits. Sometimes it's hard to proofread objectively when you're already tired of looking at it. The most difficult thing about writing a report on such a broad subject such as Scandinavian knitting is to keep it from just sounding like bullet points. There are whole books just on Scandinavian knitting and I only need a few pages, so I focused mainly on Selbu style mittens and Shetland lace. The most interesting thing about the Selbuvotter is that the design can actually be traced back to one person, and that the Selbu star pattern is what most of us think of when we think of Norwegian motifs. Just goes to show that you never know the ultimate influence of one person's work. I chose Shetland lace as my second focus just because I LOVE knitting lace. It's pretty rare that I don't have at least one or two lace projects on the needles!

When I was perusing the message boards on the Ravelry TKGA group the other day, I ran across a post about revised instructions for Level III. Thankfully, the report section was unchanged. But I am requesting a new copy before I start my swatches. I can't believe that it's already been two years since I started this level! I must be getting old because time is just flying by and I can hardly keep up!

While I wait for the new instructions to arrive, I haven't been sitting around idle. I've warped the loom for a set of dishtowels just to get back in the groove. To save a little time, I ordered a kit from Lotsaknots through their Etsy shop. The warp looks great, but I would have rather the weft not be prewound on paper bobbins. I'm having to rewind them because they don't fit in my shuttle. When these are finished, I need to get the loom set up for a prayer shawl for our April retreat, then I want to warp for more dishtowels. These are planned to be Christmas gifts this year. We'll see. I'm already seeing my typical pattern of overcommitment.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

On My Way to the Masters

I started the process of getting my certification in 1999 and am down to the final level of TKGA's Master Knitting Program. Thankfully, it's a self-guided program without a time limit. The caveat to that is that if you take more than a year, you have to send for a new set of instructions that may have changes. That one bit me in the butt on Level II. I had everything done except for the reports when I set it aside and went back to school. When I pulled it all out again, The Knitting Guild of America had become The Knitting Guild Association and the instructions had gone through major revisions! I ended up throwing out quite a bit of work and adding in some new requirements. But the real kicker was that the report requirements stayed the same, and it only took me a couple of evenings to do that part! I've learned my lesson about procrastination!

So now I'm working on Level III, and I'm doing the reports first! These are more involved and I can't just knock them out in a couple of evenings. I'm going to take advantage of this COLD weekend with no committments and get all the writing out of the way. My reward is that I then get to work on swatches. Still work, but at least it's knitting work. To help me keep my focus, I started a local support group within the Knit at Night Guild. There are about 10 of us and we plan to meet every other month to lend support, guidance, and motivation to finish. My goal is to have reports and swatches finished by the end of summer, and the designs completed and ready to begin knitting by the end of the year. It's kind of a long time table, but I have a lot of other things going on in my life and I just can't push them all aside. Spring is already full of knitting and spinning workshops, two weaving groups, and knitting for our new granddaughter who is due in May! Her first gift is going to be a beautiful little winter outfit in pink cashmere. The cap and booties are finished, just have to finish the dress. After two grandsons who absolutely will not wear anything but tshirts and polar fleece, I'm looking forward to being able to make some cute girly things.

I'm an Official Knitting Judge!

As usual, it's been some time (months) since my last post. During that time, I've received my Knitting Judge Certification from TKGA. Now, instead of entering fairs, I can judge. The plan is to start small at our local county fairs and move up from there. One of the last things I had to do for the certification process was to plan, execute, and film an event. Everything went pretty smoothly, except for the fact that I didn't realize there are two speeds to the video camera - long play, and super long play. So it ended up running out of tape at 1 hr, instead of 2. Thankfully, I at least got in the required number of items to be judged, but I really wish Janet could have see the knitted shawls. Our guild really has some extraordinary knitters! Then I was so caught up in the video aspect, that I gave back all the critique sheets without saving a copy for my portfolio! More drama! I managed to retrieve all but 4 and was able to recreate those from the video. So now I'm thinking, yea! All I have left to do is get the video from cassette to cd. How hard can that be? I do have to thank my darling spouse for converting the tape to data on the computer, but it took us both to finally get it into dvd format. Who knew that there are cd's for music, and cd's for video. Live and learn.

I did finally get everything boxed up and mailed, and it's back with my official certificate. If you're a TKGA member, watch for my name in the summer issue of Cast On magazine!

Now it's time to get back to work and finish Level III (the final level) of TKGA's Master Knitting Program.